Southern tomato pie combines favorites like tomatoes, basil, mayo, cheese, pimento, and cream cheese.
Southerners love homegrown tomatoes and Southern children love baked tomato sandwiches with mayo and cheese; at least the ones I knew did. My introduction to baked cheese and tomato sandwiches happened at my Aunt Georgia's home in Memphis, TN. I was in the kitchen with my cousin Suzanne and she asked if I'd ever tried one. I had not. So, Aunt Georgia gathered ingredients from the fridge and pantry and started the prep work. There was slicing, slathering, seasoning, and constructing.
First, she buttered the outside of a piece of white bread and spread mayo on the inside. She added a slice of American cheese along with a slice of a homegrown tomato. Some salt & pepper to taste. Then, it was time to bake. It was a quick process. The oven was turned to broil and in a matter of minutes, the open-faced masterpiece was ready. From that moment on, I was hooked. Good memories.
Before the assembly of the pie, it's time to make the gluten-free pie crust. For this recipe, there are several steps, however, if you follow the steps, you'll have a fantastic, flavorful, crunchy crust.
Thankfully, I found a recipe on Pinterest. The URL is glutenfreeonashoestring.com.
1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour. I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. I don't keep this ingredient at home. I had chia seeds and this was the recommended substitute. I used 3/4 teaspoons of chia seeds and mixed them with 1 1/2 teaspoons of hot water. I whisked it together for 5 - 7 minutes.
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
6 Tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter roughly chopped.
1/2 cup of sour cream
Ice water by the teaspoon as necessary. I ended up adding 2 teaspoons while kneading.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan or wet chia seeds.
Add the cold butter. Coat with the flour mixture. Flatten each piece of butter between your fingers and thumb.
Add the sour cream.
Mix. It should start binding. Begin kneading the dough. If it's still too flaky, start by adding a teaspoon of ice water one at a time. After one or two, it should be workable.
Form a disc, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Flour a surface and begin to roll out the dough. Make it into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Fold over like a business letter. Add flour for dusting if the mixture becomes sticky. Repeat this process three more times. Use the rolling pin to form a circle for the prepared pie pan (spray with vegetable oil). Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and place it in the pie pan. Begin to form the dough around the pan. Make some fancy edges or not. Place in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
Pimento Cheese Mixture Ingredients:
8-ounce pkg. of shredded mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces of shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of whipped cream cheese (room temp.)
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
A heaping tablespoon of pimento from a jar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
Six large leaves of fresh basil julienned.
Five homegrown tomatoes (medium to large) sliced in 1/4 inch slices. Place on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Salt each slice. Again, to absorb more liquid. Place a paper towel over the top. Leave for 10 minutes.
Pie Crust. A layer of tomatoes with some basil. 1/2 the pimento cheese mixture. Another layer of tomatoes with basil. The remaining pimento cheese mixture. Top with tomatoes, basil, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until the edges of the crust turn brown and you see the cheese mixture bubble. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve.
The pimento cheese Southern tomato pie is ready for slicing.